“Kitchen Conversation and Cover-Ups”
After Kate finished her lunch she quickly headed back to her home with SJ. Sid was due back anytime now and she prayed she'd get there before him. Not that she'd done anything wrong, she thought, it was just that she didn't want her husband to worry if he came home and found her and the baby missing.
As she entered the house she called out for Sid but there was no answer.
"Phew!" she said, cradling SJ in her arms and carrying him off into the kitchen for his feeding. "Made it just in time, my darling," Kate cooed to SJ.
"Jus intime," SJ repeated, giggling as he wiggled in his mother's arms.
"My, aren't you the clever little lad," Kate said, securing the baby into his highchair. "Mum said I didn't talk 'til I was at least a year, 'cept for mumma and maybe dada. And here you are stringing them together like a pro at merely 6 months. Impressive." She kissed him on top of his fuzz-covered head and set about prepping his food.
"Impress," SJ babbled back happily.
As she turned back around she found herself face-to-face with Sid. She gasped, startled to see her husband standing there, and dropped the jar of baby food she had been holding only to watch as Sid deftly caught it just before it hit the floor - never taking his eyes off her as he did so.
"Dada home," SJ squealed with delight, wiggling in his chair.
"Oh, Sid, I didn't hear you come in," Kate told him, still out of breath from the shock.
"Quietness comes with grace of form, my beloved," he smiled. "Speaking of form and of grace, where have you been today, hmmmmm?"
Kate swallowed hard, tried to hide her nervousness, completely surprised that he'd known she had gone out. "Oh, just out for a jog with SJ," she said, then added, "oh and I stopped in at the diner for a bit of lunch afterwards." She kissed him on the cheek and began to feed SJ his food.
"It was a nice day for a jog." He ran a finger along the back of an upholstered chair. "Did you go...far?"
"Um, a bit, yes," Kate replied, still trying to cover up her nervousness. "Made it all the way to town, actually."
She tried to shove another bite of food into SJ's mouth but he managed to grab the spoon from her hand.
"I feed, I feed!" he squealed, shoving the spoonful of mush into his mouth.
"He's smart and independent...like his father," Sid observed. "All the way to town? You must've gotten yourself all worn out. Did you obtain refreshment?"
"Well, I brought water with me of course, but, um, like I said before, I stopped in the diner to get some lunch before heading back home." She tried to avoid eye contact with him, not wanting for Sid to see in her eyes that she might be hiding something as he always seemed to be able to do so with such ease.
Trying to change the subject, she asked, "How did your day go? Everything well, I hope?"
"Yes, everything was absolutely perfect. Just the way I like things, as you are well aware. I trust you were not...bored...on you jaunt today. Did you have any friendly encounters with our local peasantry?"
Kate let out a nervous giggle. "Oh, no, just me and SJ here, that's all," she assured him, wiping SJ's little mouth off with a wet towel. Did he know about Colin? Had someone told? "Lots of looks from everyone, of course, most likely gossiping as they tend to do, probably discussing our beautiful little boy here, I'd think." She kissed SJ on the head and began to unbuckle him from his seat.
Just then Bar came in the door. Sid frowned at his brother. He wasn't in the mood to be interrupted.
"Did you hear the news?" he asked.
"There is news in this wee hamlet worth hearing?" Sid replied, rolling his eyes.
"Somebody vandalized the garage. Really made a mess out of it. I didn't see it myself but I met Alistair on the way home from town and he told me about it."
"Are you not above engaging in idle gossip, brother dear?"
"It's not gossip, Sid. It's news."
"It hardly seems to qualify." Sid cast a sideways glance at Katherine to see her reaction. Perhaps she might give herself away. This was not how he planned his afternoon's sport, but Bar had barged in and hay must be made while the solar orb glowed.
Kate tried her best to mask her emotion over the news of Colin's garage. She'd just been by there earlier that day and everything had been fine then. She glanced over at Sid, wondering if there was any way he could have had something to do with it. She knew he despised Colin but why would he do something so vile to him now? Unless... no, surely he didn't know!
She cleared her throat, managed a friendly smile for her dear brother-in-law as SJ tried to wiggle his way out of her arms. "Well, you know how I feel about Colin but still I hate to hear that someone would do something like that to his place of business and all." She glanced from Bar to Sid and then back again.
She cleared her throat, "So, um, Bar, you didn't hear anything about me today did you? I went for a jog into town today with SJ and you know how those townies love to talk behind my back." She raised an eyebrow and tried to appear as if she was just making idle conversation.
Bar looked briefly down at his shoes, then back up at Katherine. "No, I didn't hear a thing." He knew she'd had lunch in town and caused a bit of a stir but something in her voice, her manner led him to think the better of mentioning it.
He held his arms out to SJ, who was wiggling toward him. "Come to Uncle Bar, you fascinating little drool factory." Taking the baby, he held him up and a large drool did drip out of SJ's mouth onto Bar's face. Bar just laughed.
"That is disgusting," Sid growled. "Go dip yourself in household bleach."
"It's just baby drool, Brother. It's not like he's been dining in the litter box."
"Din-ner, Di-ner, Li-ter bok," SJ happily babbled away.
Kate let out a sigh of relief that word of her and Colin's little meeting hadn't gotten around to Bar. "You're not disgusting in the slightest, are you, my little darling?" she cooed to SJ, tickling his chubby little cheeks. "Maybe dada needs to spend some quality time with his little man while mama and uncle Bar have a nice dinner."
She turned to Sid, cocking an eyebrow.
"Come," Sid said, taking SJ and walking into his study. "Let's learn something valuable while foodstuffs are being consumed."
SJ giggled and drooled on Sid's shoulder.